TAMPA, Fla. — Florida landed one of its top targets Friday with the addition of 4-star offensive tackle Richard Gouraige.
The Under Armour All-American revealed his decision in an exclusive commitment video with SEC Country. He chose the Gators over Clemson.
Florida had been Gouraige’s top school since the spring and outlasted the defending national champs, Auburn, LSU and others. Gators offensive line coach Brad Davis served as the primary recruiter and won over Gouraige during their initial meeting.
“When I first had a conversation with Coach Davis, I could just tell. I knew that’s who I wanted to play for,” Gouraige said. “I can relate to him a lot and he doesn’t BS me. I just believe in Coach Davis and I could see that I was his No. 1 guy.”
Florida now has 18 commits and the nation’s No. 6 class with Gouraige on board, jumping Georgia, Tennessee and Florida State in the 247Sports Composite team rankings.
In addition to Davis and area recruiter Chris Rumph, several other factors led Gouraige to Gainesville.
“I’m not just committing to a coach,” Gouragie said. “I’m committing to a school and a community. The staff and players there are great people. I’m excited about staying close to home and just being part of the culture they have at Florida.
“Academic wise, it’s one of the top 10 public schools in the country. It’s good for my mom and family to be able to come watch me play. It all just came together.”
Gouraige visited Florida four times during his recruitment, most recently for the LSU game on Oct. 7. He first saw The Swamp two years ago.
“My first visit was when they played Ole Miss,” Gouraige said. “Everybody was doubting Florida and saying it would be a blowout, but Florida came to play and hit them right in the mouth. Ever since then, they’ve been on the come up and they’ve had my attention.”
Gouraige is ranked the No. 10 prospect at his position and No. 106 nationally in the 247Sports composite. The Gators now have two offensive linemen in their 2018 class as Gouraige joins 4-star guard and fellow Under Armour All-American Curtis Dunlap.
“I just want to thank Clemson for recruiting me,” Gouraige said. “You can’t get better than Coach Dabo Swinney, Coach [Robbie] Caldwell and Coach [Tony] Elliot. Those guys were awesome throughout this process and always kept it real with me.
“I pray they keep having success and I really appreciate them getting to know me and my family during this process. I just felt a better connection with Florida.”